When we are looking to sell our house, ideally, we’d all like to do it quickly, easily and for a good price.
So, to maximise the chances of achieving this, it is worth thinking about its appeal and how to make the most of it before you put it on the market. It is surprising what a difference a few updates can make.
When looking for a house to buy, we know we have to go in with a flexible, open mind as all places will need to be adapted and personalised to make them our own. But if we are selling a home, the easier we can make it for other people to imagine themselves living in, the better. Property expert, Jamie Gray from Nexa Estate Agents in Bristol, says,
“if you are selling your home, you need to try and look at it with new eyes, as someone seeing it for the first time. Some simple tweaks can make it more appealing to a wide audience.”
So what are the top things to consider?
Know your likely audience
Of course, you can never be quite sure who will buy your house, but given its location and your neighbours you should be able to hazard a guess at the kind of people it is likely to be popular with. Whether your home is ideal for professionals, first time buyers, young or older families, think about the aspects of your home and your area that will be important to them and highlight these in the marketing materials. When visitors come, remember you know this house and how it is to live here better than anyone, so be ready to share your knowledge and answer questions.
Keep it clean and simple
Keeping your home clean can be one of the biggest burdens of selling your house, especially if it has many viewings and you have a young family. But if you make extra effort from the offset, then it will look great in the images and hopefully sell quicker – these days many property searches start online. A thorough clean and a lick of neutral coloured paint if any areas are looking tired can really make a difference.
Think about the light and make sure curtains are open, blinds up and use mirrors to reflect the light and space. It is also important that it smells clean – you may have become ‘nose blind’ to the fragrance of your pets or children’s sports gear. Try to ensure that both the physical evidence and the aromas of these are not presence. Invest in fresh flowers or some subtle background perfume.
Manage your clutter
We all accumulate plenty of ‘stuff’ over the years. To us, it represents our travels, experiences, friends and family, but to others it is just clutter. And clutter can make your house feel busy and smaller. Family photos and children’s artwork should be kept to a minimum whilst selling. Piles of coats and shoes as you step over the threshold are not ideal. Also, busy surfaces can make a room and its spaces feel smaller and stop the eyes from flowing around so keep kitchen and living spaces as clear as possible.
Furniture should be appropriate to the size of the room and always allow for an easy flow around the house. It might be worth removing or relocating some bits temporarily to aid this. Decluttering can be a good start to the moving process anyway.
Make an entrance
We all know the importance of first impressions. Whilst your ‘curb appeal’ may be somewhat dictated by your street and surroundings, there is much you can do to make your house have a good feeling as someone walks towards it. Don’t be so focussed on the interior of your house that you forget the outside. Keep the lawn and flower beds tidy, make sure the path to your house is clear and as attractive as can be. And then with first impressions in mind, take visitors to the best parts of your house first.
Lots of little tricks can make quite a psychological difference to how people experience your home. Be prepared to ask friends and family for advice and don’t take other people’s likes and dislikes personally, its just a matter of taste. A clean, fresh, neutral environment is more likely to be a canvas on which someone else can imagine painting their life.